- Roos Foods is voluntarily recalling 16 varieties of cheese that have been identified as being possibly contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes
- One person has died, and seven others have been hospitalized, including three babies, as the result of a multi-state outbreak of Listeria linked to the cheese products.
- The cheeses in question are packaged in flexible plastic bags and rigid plastic clamshell packages in 12-ounce and 16-ounce sizes under the brand names Mexicana, Amigo, Santa Rosa De Lima, and Anita. They were distributed in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C through retail stores.
Listeria is a nightmarish, terrible thing — one of the five nastiest foodborne pathogens. And we have never been quite able to be fully dispassionate when writing about it. One of the diseases it causes, listeriosis, will kill 1 out of every 5 people who contract it. So each outbreak strikes fear in us — and presumably in much of the industry.
But in this particular case, there's an additional element of horror. Three of those sickened were newborn infants. As parents, we simply cannot imagine what it must be like to watch your child grow ill from such a deadly bacteria. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families.
In the meantime, we will be grateful that things aren't worse. We've seen outbreaks that were — particularly the catastrophic Listeria outbreak in 2011 involving Jensen Farm cantaloupes.